Album Review: Cable Street Sessions 12” by The Oscillation

I have written before about The Oscillation, and was really looking forward to seeing them at last year’s Liverpool PsychFest. However, for reasons that I’m still not totally sure of I missed them…and I was gutted…and I have remained gutted as each report of their live prowess has reached my ears. They were, apparently brain-fryingly outstanding then, and on the basis of this live sounding EP, this was no fluke.

From what I had heard of the band previously, I have played the likes of Liquid Memoryman (from the Out of Phase album) and Telepathic Birdman (from the Veils album) a great deal and had them down as being on the dance/ electronica side of psych, very much in a krautrock vein but with Clash-style reggae vibes mixed in.

The Cable Street Sessions show a different side to The Oscillation, a heavy psych side which certainly shares its DNA with what I have heard before, but much bigger and more guitar based and includes a great cover of The Deviants’ ‘Somewhere To Go’. The opener. ‘All You Want To Be’, is sodden with fuzzy guitars swirling round a rhythm section which beats out the sort of repetitive alert that, in the 50s, might have signified the beginning of a nuclear conflict. ‘Corridor’ is slower, heavier and relentless; a huge slab of psych that burrows its way into your brain, opens out and spawns all sorts of freaky stuff into it.

‘Somewhere To Go’ is quite faithful to the original. Going back to The Deviants version I find it quite astounding that this track was made in the late 60s because it sounds so fresh and contemporary. A mark, probably, both of the forward thinking of the band, and the current psych revival. At any rate, The Oscillation have done us a favour in reviving the track and giving it a new lease of life.

‘Descent’, with its post-rock beginnings, slithers along like a serpent gliding through the souk as it develops a Middle Eastern drone amidst oscillating synths. It’s a jam that is just short of nine minutes and ends this all too brief trip around the collective mind of The Oscillation.

Finally a word on the cover. It is beautiful and will be going on display in the one corner of my lounge that Mrs Delic lets me have as my own (replacing the classic Ella and Louis cover which has been up for a while now). There are not many covers which are deemed worthy of such an honour but I’ve got no hesitation about this one. I’ll have to make sure the record is properly protected, although I doubt it’ll be off my turntable much anyway.



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